STATE OF FLORIDA
COMMISSION ON ETHICS
In re LOUISE BLACKBURN, )
Respondent. ) Complaint No. 88-53
) and 88-100
FINAL ORDER AND PUBLIC REPORT
This matter came before the Commission on Ethics for final action on review of the Recommended Public Report of the Hearing Officer (a copy of which is attached and incorporated by reference). The Respondent filed exceptions to the Recommended Public Report, which recommends that the Commission find that while serving as a County Commissioner for Gadsen County, the Respondent violated Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, by using county employees and equipment to write and type an article for her use as as a campaign advertisement. The Advocate filed an exception to the recommended penalty.
Having reviewed the Recommended Public Report, the Respondent's exceptions, and the record of the public hearing of this complaint, and having heard the arguments of counsel for the Respondent and of the Commission's Advocate, the Commission makes the following findings, conclusions, rulings, and recommendation:
The findings of fact set forth in the Recommended Public Report are approved, adopted, and incorporated herein.
The Conclusions of Law set forth in the Recommended Public Report are approved, adopted, and incorporated herein.
The exceptions by the Respondent to the findings of fact and conclusions of law by the hearing officer are rejected as there is competent substantial evidence in the record to support the hearing officer's findings, and the hearing officer correctly interpreted and applied the applicable law.
Having found that the Respondent, Louise Blackburn, while serving as County Commissioner for the Gadsden County, violated Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, as described in the Recommended Public Report, pursuant to Sections 112.317(1) and 112.324(4), Florida Statutes, it is the recommendation of the Commission on Ethics that a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred and fifty ($250.00) be imposed against the Respondent. The Advocate's exception to the amount of the civil penalty is rejected as the amount of the civil penalty is appropriate in light of the circumstances described in the recommended public report, which is adopted and incorporated herein.
ORDERED by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics meeting in public session on September 14, 1989.
Richard A. Gilbert
Commission on Ethics
THIS ORDER CONSTITUTES FINAL AGENCY ACTION. ANY PARTY WHO IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THIS ORDER HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER SECTION 120.68, FLORIDA STATUTES, BY FILING A NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL PURSUANT TO RULE 9.110, FLORIDA RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE, WITH THE CLERK OF THE COMMISSION ON ETHICS, 2107 THE CAPITOL, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-1450; AND BY FILING A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF APPEAL ACCOMPANIED BY THE APPLICABLE FILING FEES WITH THE APPROPRIATE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL. THE NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL MUST BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THIS ORDER IS RENDERED AND IS FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COMMISSION.
Copies furnished to:
Mr. Harold S. Richmond, Attorney for Respondent
Mr. Craig B. Willis, Commission Advocate
Mr. L.L. Shaw, Complainant